|The masterful bandleader of a legendary orchestra, a first-class composer, a superb arranger, a restless artist by nature and a musician who never stopped recording from 1928 on, the incomparable Duke Ellington (1899-1974) stands in a class of his own and remains as one of the men who defined the shape of jazz and American music throughout most of the Twentieth Century.
"The first vibraphonist in jazz and a musician whose career has never stopped since he made his recording debut in 1929, Lionel Hampton (1909) has always been a top-notch performer, a splendid bartender and an extroverted, energetic performer much loved by audiences the world over. Despite the ravages of age, Hamp as he is universally known keeps playing in his unmistakable exuberant style and remains a vital force in jazz.
"This anthology gathers different 'soundies' (short features produced for movie theatres) and telescriptions (the first music videos) dating back from the Fortes and early Fifties and featuring material by the Duke Ellington orchestra and the Lionel Hampton big band. To be able to watch the Duke and his men performing 'Caravan', 'Flamingo' or 'C Jam Blues' or the Hampton organization attacking 'Midnight Sun' or 'Air Mai Special' a truly a gift for the eyes… An essential document.